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1M COVID-19 cases in Philippines unlikely, but 740K cases possible by end-March —OCTA Research

The OCTA Research group on Saturday said the Philippines may reach one million confirmed COVID-19 cases although it is less likely, but 740,000 cases was projected by the end of March.

"Hindi pa naman agad agad 'yun. Depende. Ang trajectory natin aabot tayo mga 740,000 up by end of March. Pero by April titingnan natin," Professor Guido David said in an interview on Dobol B TV when asked if one million COVID-19 cases in the country is possible.

[It will not be immediately (one million cases). It depends. Our trajectory is that we will reach around 740,000 up by end of March. We will see by April.]

David said they so far have not seen a trajectory of one million cases by the end of April. However, he said it might be possible in one to two months if interventions will not be that effective.

"Marami na kasing nagbabago kaya mahirap magsabi ng projection, kasi may dadating na tayong bakuna," he said.

[A lot has changed that's why it is difficult to state our projections, especially with the arrival of vaccines.]


Despite the projected cases, David said having a stricter measure such as an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is not necessary.

"'Yung ['NCR Plus] bubble so far nakikita naman natin may effect naman siya dahil bumababa naman ang reproduction number. Pero 'yun nga, baka kukulangin 'yung dalawang linggo, pati 'yung apat na linggo. At least ito ['NCR Plus' bubble] naba-balance natin ang hanapbuhay ng ibang kababayan," David said.

[So far, we're seeing the effects of the (NCR Plus) bubble due to the decrease in the reproduction number, but two weeks or four weeks might not be enough. But at least it balances the livelihood of our fellow Filipinos.]

The OCTA Research this week said the reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) has dropped to 1.91 from the previous 1.99.

They also projected that the Philippines could see 11,000 new COVID-19 cases daily by the end of March.

The OCTA Research has been projecting a downtrend in the number of coronavirus cases in Metro Manila and its adjacent provinces, four weeks after the areas were placed in a “National Capital Region (NCR) Plus" bubble.

The Philippines on Friday reported another record-high 9,838 new COVID-19 infections,  bringing the total tally to 702,856.

Of this number, 580,689 recovered; 13,149 died; and 109,018 are active. —KG, GMA News